air brake


: a brake operated by a piston driven by compressed air
: a surface that may be projected into the airstream for increasing drag and lowering the speed of an airplane

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Though the show car is designed to have their movement patterns operated via an iPad, they were also imagined as a potential way to scoop air into the car for cooling, act as an air brake or serve as solar panels. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 17 Dec. 2022 An air brake in the governor helped adjust the flow. CNN, 2 Nov. 2022 But the car is reassuringly adept at scrubbing speed, reversing course with the DRS and transforming it into an air brake to drag the car back down to a standstill. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 22 Oct. 2022 Between the big discs and the wing air brake, the Spider felt capable of Looney Tunes Road Runner stops, sliding right to the edge of the cliff while watching Wile E. overshoot it and frantically backpedal. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 18 May 2022 After the plant closure announcement, the air brake tester found a job making dashboards and bumpers for Toyota. Lydia Depillis, ProPublica, 30 June 2021 Called Porsche Adaptive Aerodynamics, or PAA, the pieces also respond as an air brake when decelerating at high speeds. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, 15 Apr. 2021 Excerpt from Nameless, by Dean Koontz CHAPTER ONE The sky is the blue of a birthing blanket, the day newborn and filled with the light of innocence, when the air brakes of the bus whistle softly, waking him. Christian Holub,, 11 Nov. 2019 Slowing from high speed will be the job of the car's air brake and parachute, both of which are controlled from the steering wheel like the rocket. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 24 Nov. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'air brake.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of air brake was in 1846

Dictionary Entries Near air brake

Cite this Entry

“Air brake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

air brake

: a brake operated by a piston driven by compressed air
: a surface that may be quickly positioned into the air for lowering the speed of an airplane

More from Merriam-Webster on air brake

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